Do Foods High In Water Content Help Slim Your Waist Line?

Drink more water to lose weight. You hear the phrase all the time. But did you know eating foods with a high concentration of water can also help slim your waist line? Memorial Medical Center dietitian Emily Bailey, RD, LDN weighs in.

“Foods that are high in water aren’t going to have a lot of calories. And we’re talking about fruits and vegetables which are higher in fiber, so that fills you up too.”

We all need about four liters of water a day, and we should increase that intake in the hot summer months. Luckily this is the same time many water-dense fruits and vegetables are in season. Think lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini all of which are more than 90 percent water.

Notable foods and their water content (% water in parentheses)

  • Cucumber (97)
  • Lettuce (95)
  • Tomato (95)
  • Zucchini (95)
  • Watermelon (91)
  • Grapefruit (89)
  • Peach (87)
  • Apple (86)
  • Rice (70)
  • Pasta (62)

Watermelon, grapefruit, apples and peaches are all more than 80 percent water and top the list for best fruits. Try these foods in salads, soups and stir-fried dishes; for dessert, try sorbets, custards or fresh fruit.

“These foods also help you take in some of the important vitamins and minerals you need each day,” Bailey said. “And the more water you take in, the fuller you will fill without getting the extra calories that juices and sodas carry.”

Some dry products like pasta, rice and beans can also be a good source of water. These foods act like sponges as they cook. Milks and dairy products also carry a high percentage of water.

“Consider these foods as an extra bonus when trying to reach the recommended water intake,” Bailey said. “Drinking the right amount of water combined with fruits, veggies and dairy will keep you hydrated during the summer and looking and feeling your best.”

For more information on eating healthy or to schedule an appointment with a Memorial dietitian, call 217-788-3333.